St. Johnsbury Academy Hires New Assistant Headmaster for Academics and Student Life

June 15, 2022

St. Johnsbury Academy has hired Binaca Hanson of Bridgton, ME, as Assistant Headmaster for Academic and Student Life. Hanson currently serves as the Assistant Head of School at Bridgton Academy in Bridgton, ME. She will assume her new duties on July 1, 2022.


In this newly configured Assistant Headmaster role, Hanson will steward the Academy’s mission for education of the whole student, where academic life and student life are understood to be inextricably linked. She will work with both academic and student life leaders to design systems and processes that strengthen communication, collaboration, and efficacy of practice among departments; lead regular reflection upon and assessment of programs, including institutional research; and provide supervision and direction to the academic departments, the advisory program, the Deans of Students and Academics, and Residential Life. Hanson’s combined role recognizes the need for each student to be surrounded by a constellation of support that involves the partnership of teachers, advisors, coaches, mentors, and proctors. 


Hanson began her teaching career in Exeter in 2000 at Cooperative Middle School and in 2010 moved to Gray-New Gloucester High School, where she served on various committees, including co-chair of the NEASC accreditation and faculty advisor for the senior class.


She became the school’s Dean of Academics in 2014 and served in that capacity for six years. In that position, she was the direct supervisor for 25 faculty members, including personnel in the academics, college counseling, and academic support services departments.


In 2020 Hanson was appointed Assistant Head of School, where she worked in partnership with department leaders, as well as other senior managers, to provide leadership, direction, and vision for all aspects of the day-to-day operation of the school. She worked directly with the Head of School and the Board of Trustees to identify needed areas of growth for the school through the strategic planning process.


As Assistant Head of School, Hanson provided direct oversight to multiple departments, including academics, academic support, college counseling, student life, health services, and mental health services. She also designed and planned regular professional development for all Academy personnel in alignment with strategic goals identified by the Board of Trustees and Head of School.


When asked what appealed to her about St. Johnsbury Academy, Hanson replied, “There is something special about the way faculty and students at St. Johnsbury Academy are in community with one another.  While on campus last month, I caught a glimpse of this firsthand.  I spent part of the morning talking to students at the CTE showcase; I was in awe of the work from students in the welding, woodworking, culinary, and building trades classes.  I listened to faculty giving students pep talks between exams in Colby Hall. I walked to the Hilltopper Restaurant for a bite to eat with Dr. Howell during their open house.  I listened to spirited stories of celebration from the awards program for boarding students. Even as the school year wound down, I talked with eager colleagues about the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year.


I am excited to bring my diverse professional experience, optimism, determination, and compassion to the St. Johnsbury Academy community. I look forward to joining the team at SJA in July!”


Headmaster Dr. Sharon Howell says, “There is tremendous excitement about Binaca Hanson here at SJA—during the search process it became clear that she is a powerful connective force, a brilliant listener, a gifted administrator, and an infectiously optimistic leader. Most importantly, she cares deeply about young people and their growth and success. We are so thrilled for her and her family to join us on campus and for her to help us be the strongest school we can be for each student.” 

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